Friends, on December 4th, the Laramie County School Board will have a very important meeting where they will vote on a new book policy for the school libraries.
This represents the end of over a year of pushing for reform in school libraries. It’s easy to get tired of issues, but the end is in sight!
What’s at stake is there are books with a clear sexual agenda available for checkout in local school libraries. These books contain graphic descriptions and in some cases, full-color illustrations of graphic sexual acts. Some of the books include instructions on how to experiment with different sexual experiences and identities, and how to hide them from your parents.
Currently, all children are automatically opted in to be able to read any of this material. If parents don’t want their children exposed to sexually graphic content, they have to individually identify every book in the school library they don’t want their child to read. This is a difficult and un-intuitive process, and its no surprise that few parents know how to do it.
The new policy proposed by the Laramie County school board puts control in the hands of parents, allowing them to easily choose whether to allow or restrict access to sexually graphic material.
Parents who are fine with their children reading pornography in the school library will not be affected by this new policy. They will have the right to choose that if they desire.
But parents who do care about the innocence of their children will be empowered to have a say in when their children learn about sex.
We believe that all parents have a right to have a say in their child’s education. The opposition wants to restrict that right.
Your presence on December 4th could make a big difference.
Where? 2811 House Avenue, Cheyenne WY 82001. Enter through the north side door.
When? 6:00–8:00 PM, December 4th. Arrive 15 minutes early or you may not get a seat.
What to expect? The December 4th LCSD1 School Board meeting agenda is not published yet, but we believe that after routine items, public comment about agenda topics will be heard. After that the trustees will discuss, consider amendments and vote on a new policy.
How to behave? We will provide signs to display that support our position, or make your own sign. Arrive early, even before the 5pm work session if possible, to get some front row seats. Spread out rather than congregate in the back rows. Hold signs to be seen but not to distract or obstruct others’ view. Please be respectful and speak only when it is your turn.
What to wear? Please wear red to show that we are united together. The opposition typically wears purple t-shirts to school board meetings.
Can I speak? Just your presence with attire and a sign in favor of the new policy will be influential! However, there will normally be 10 slots for brief public comments at the start of the meeting (restricted to 3min each): call the District office to sign up to speak at 307-771-2121 by close-of-business the preceding Friday or you may not get a chance.
Here is the important information:
Parents and guardians will have the ability to choose one of the following Check Out Options for their student during the Registration Process:
• “No Access to Materials Containing Sexually Explicit Content” means the student will not have access to check out any library materials that have been identified as containing “sexually explicit content” as defined in this policy. Parents or guardians may also utilize this option to limit their student’s ability to check out library materials that have been nominated as potentially containing Sexually Explicit Content but that have not been formally reviewed.
• “Parent/Guardian Limited Access” means the student will only have access to check out books and materials specifically identified by their parent or guardian. District staff can also assist parents and guardians in curating an individualized list of library materials that meet their student’s needs.
• “Open Access” means the student will have unrestricted access to check out all materials in their school’s library/media center, including library materials housed at different libraries from schools within the same or lower grade-band level (e.g., an elementary student would have access to all library materials through interlibrary loan located at any of the District’s elementary schools). Open Access does not include access to library materials housed at libraries located in schools that serve a higher gradeband level, absent specific parental/guardian permission (e.g., an elementary student would not have access to library materials located at the junior high school library unless the parent separately consents to the student accessing that material).
• “No Access” means the student will not have access to check out any library materials.
In spite of what opposition may claim, no books are being banned. Instead, parents will be given a choice about the level of sexual material they feel comfortable with their children seeing.
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